Amyl nitrite is a very short-acting drug that offers some psychoactive and sensation-enhancing effects. It works as a vasodilator and it decreases blood pressure. Because of its physical effects, muscle relaxation occurs, men may have an enhanced feeling of erection, physical sensations are enhanced generally, and there may be feelings of heat and excitement through the body.
Because of its sensation-enhancing and muscle relaxing properties, Amyl nitrite has been used to amplify sexual activity. Among the muscles it may relax are those around the anus and vagina.
It’s known for its “rushing” effect which includes some feelings of euphoria, excitement, and disinhibition that last for a short period.
Amyl nitrite is a member of the alkyl nitrite group, which also includes Butyl nitrite and Isobutyl nitrite.
Amyl nitrite = Poppers
The drug is inhaled by placing it near your nose. Unlike with many drugs, you don’t weigh out the amount you intend to use. Rather, a normal dose is breathing it in for 2-4 seconds.
It should not be taken orally due to significant safety issues.
Total: 3 – 5 minutes
Onset: Almost immediately
Strongest: During first minute
Erowid (includes other nitrites)
(2005) Longitudinal patterns of methamphetamine, popper (amyl nitrite), and cocaine use and high-risk sexual behavior among a cohort of San Francisco men who have sex with men
(1997) Saturday night blue–a case of near fatal poisoning from the abuse of amyl nitrite.
(1995) Extreme methaemoglobinaemia secondary to recreational use of amyl nitrite.
(1994) Methaemoglobinaemia due to Amyl Nitrite Inhalation: A Case Report
(1986) T. Lauder Brunton and amyl nitrite: a Victorian vasodilator
(1981) Mechanism of vascular smooth muscle relaxation by organic nitrates, nitrites, nitroprusside and nitric oxide: evidence for the involvement of S-nitrosothiols as active intermediates.
(1980) Review of the Physiological Effects of Amyl, Butyl, and Isobutyl Nitrites
(1978) Popping and snorting volatile nitrites: a current fad for getting high.
(1972) Effects of amyl nitrite (“poppers”) on sexual experience.
(1971) Actions of the Nitrites on the Peripheral Circulation and Myocardial Oxygen Consumption: Significance in the Relief of Angina Pectoris
(1969) Influence of Amyl Nitrite Inhalation on the Systolic Time Intervals in Normal Subjects and in Patients with Ischemic Heart Disease
(1965) The Effects of Nitroglycerin and Amyl Nitrite on Arteriolar and Venous Tone in the Human Forearm
(1935) The cerebral blood flow in man as influenced by adrenalin, caffein, amyl nitrite and histamine